Qantas passengers will not face delays on Wednesday after the Transport Workers Union ruled out further strike action, saying people had been “inconvenienced enough”.
More than 6000 domestic passengers across Australia faced delays on Tuesday because of a strike by more than 4000 of the airline’s ground staff over pay and conditions.
“Everyone will be going back (to work) at 11am (Tuesday).
All the bans that were on will be stopped,” union spokesman Mick Pieri told AAP on Tuesday. “We think the public has been inconvenienced enough.”
He said he believed the strikes, which workers had threatened to continue for 48 hours after walking off the job on Tuesday morning, had sent “a pretty good message”.
“It’s up to Qantas now,” he said. Delays on Tuesday ranged from five minutes to 35 minutes, the Qantas website said, and all passengers on flights delayed more than 15 minutes were contacted by the airline.
Overall, about 150 flights have been affected. “Flights will start to get back to normal in the early afternoon, around lunchtime,” Qantas spokesman Luke Enright told AAP on Tuesday.
Cairns, Adelaide and Canberra will be back on schedule by mid- to late afternoon.
The stoppage from 7am (AEST) went ahead after last-minute talks between the union and Qantas at Fair Work Australia failed to reach a resolution on Monday.
Earlier in the day, Olivia Wirth, Qantas group executive of government and corporate affairs, said progress could only be made if the union returned to the negotiating table and stopped the strike action.
“What it does take is for this sort of action to stop,” she told the Seven Network.
“If they are serious about these discussions and representing their members, they need to continue their negotiations.”
Ms Wirth defended the airline’s track record as a good employer, saying it paid its baggage handlers 12 per cent more than Virgin staff.